Black Sea Region Tour 8 Nights / 9 Days
Istanbul, Abant Lake, Safranbolu, Ankara, Hattusa, Amasya, Trabzon, Sumela Monastery, Zigana, Karaca Cave
Day 1Welcome to Turkey! Today is your arrival day. Airport transfers are available from Ataturk International Airport during the hours of 8:00am til 11:00pm. Transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 2(Breakfast and dinner included) We depart from the hotel at 08:30am for the Istanbul city tour. Topkapi Palace The great palace of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th to the 19th centuries. The palace houses an exquisite collection of crystal, silver, and Chinese porcelain. Robes worn by the sultans and their families, the famous jewels of the Imperial Treasury, miniatures, and the Holy Mantle; enshrining relics of the Prophet Mohammed. Next on the list is the SULTANAHMET IMPERIAL MOSQUE Across from St. Sophia built in the 16th century by the architect Mehmet, is known as the “BLUE MOSQUE” because of its magnificent interior decoration of blue Iznik tiles. Outside the Blue Mosque we find the HIPPODROME . The Ancient Hippodrome was the scene of chariot races and entertainment. The Hippodrome comprises of three monuments; the Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column and the Column of Constantine. After a short enjoyable lunch break we head to the “SPICE BAZAAR” (Egyptian Bazaar) the air here is filled with the enticing aromas of cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint, thyme and every other conceivable herb and spice. After the tour you have the option to experience the BOSPHORUS Boat Cruise which will depart after the city tour. You will have the chance to enjoy magnificent views of Bosphorus which is connecting Asia to Europe. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 3After breakfast at 09:00am we depart for Abant Lake. Abant is most probably the most famous lake in Turkey. The lake is at the end of a 22 km drive. The seven kilometer walk around the lake offers a great opportunity to enjoy the area. Those who don’t wish to walk can ride horseback or complete the tour on a horse cart. Abant lake is surrounded with pine trees. The manner in which the lake was formed is a topic of discussion. Its deepest point is 45 meters. The countryside is pleasantly different in each season. Water lilies embellish the surface in summer. It is also famous for its trout. Lunch break at a beautiful alfresco restaurant under the trees with BBQ and fresh bread. After lunch we depart for Safranbolu (from the 13th century to the advent of the railway in the early 20th century, Safranbolu was an important caravan station on the main East-West trade route. The old mosque, the old bath house and Suleyman Pasha Medrese were built in 1322. During its apogee in the 17th century, Safranbolu’s architecture influenced urban development throughout much of the Ottoman Empire). On arrival we will walk through the historical Safranbolu Bazaar, continuing on to Cinci Hodja Caravanserai, Cici Hodja Bath House, Kaymakamlar House (Museum). Overnight in Safranbolu.
Day 4After breakfast at 09:00am we departure sleepy Safranbolu for Ankara (3 to 4 hours drive) On arrival we will have time for lunch before taking the city tour of Ankara which is the 2nd biggest city and the capital of Turkey. On the tour you will visit Ataturk`s (founder of the modern Turkey) Museum and the Ataturk Mausoleum. Overnight in Ankara.
Day 5(Breakfast and dinner included) After breakfast we depart for Hattusa , which was the capital of Hitites. Hititians where Indo-German semi European people, they arrived via the Black Sea to north Anatolia at the beginning of 18 th century BC. They used horse carts as their war vehicles, which they used during their attack of Ramses the 2nd and they had a big war with the Egyptians and they then made a peace treaty where they wrote on the clay and had 2 women sign it. That was the first peace treaty where woman ever participated. Visiting Yazilikaya which is the ruin of an open air temple of the Hitites where there are rock carvings of the Hitites god and Goddes. We then go to Hattusas, big temple and the city ruins including gates of lion and king. Visiting the summer palace of Hitites and driving to Alacahoyuk that was first capital of Hitites and Hatti civilisation. After lunch we drive to Amsaya for our Amasya Tour. Amasya is one of the provinces which is distinct both with its natural setup and historical values it holds. It was the homeland of the famous geographer Strabo. Located in a narrow cleft of the Yesilirmak (Iris) river, it has a history of 3000 years during which many civilizations left priceless remains of their times. The ruins of the citadel on the rock face of the cleft shelters 2000 year old water-channels, 1000 year old bridges, an ancient mental hospital, an Ottoman Palace and a secret underground passageway. Overnight in Amasya.
Day 6After breakfast at 09:00am departure for Trabzon . When the Roman Empire was divided into two at the end of the 4th century, Trabzon remained under the sovereignty of the Eastern Roman Empire which later on was called as Byzantine Empire. When relations and wars between the Byzantines and the Arabs started, the Arabs called the people under the Roman Sovereignty as Rum, and the areas under the Roman sovereignty as Diyar-i Rum or Memleket-ul Rum (land of Rums). Overnight in Trabzon.
Day 7Depart for St. Sophia (Ayasofya), a 13th century church and study its extraordinary collection of Byzantine frescoes, depart for Gulbahar Hatun Mosque, Castle and Ataturk’s Mansion (a picturesque hillside retreat), visit Ortahisar Mosque (a Comneni cathedral in the old town). Lunch at a seaside restaurant in Akçaabat. Afternoon we explore the cobbled stone streets of Trabzon. Drive to Boztepe; enjoy our tea from samovar with the panoramic view of the city. Overnight in Trabzon.
Day 8Depart for Sumela Monastery, visit the 4th century Sumela Monastery which clings to a sheer cliff face in a deep forest, relax beside a fast flowing stream at Altindere Valley National Park, lunch, traveling along the Silk Road through the Zigana Mountains (Pontic Alps) will take us to Karaca Cave , considered to be the most beautiful in Turkey for its colors and formations. Overnight in Trabzon.
Day 9Today your tour is over. Please make your own arrangements for departure remembering that your hotel will need you to check out before midday. We hope you had a memorable tour and we look forward to seeing you in the future on another tour.
- Private return airport transfers
- 3, 4 star and Boutique Hotels in each area
- 2 nights hotel in Istanbul including breakfast and dinner
- 1 night hotel in Safranbolu including breakfast and dinner
- 1 night hotel in Ankara including breakfast and dinner
- 1 night hotel in Amasya including breakfast and dinner
- 3 nights hotel in Trabzon including breakfast and dinner
- Guided Istanbul City Tour
- Guided tour at Lake Abant
- Guided tour in Safranbolu
- Guided tour in Ankara
- Guided tour in Hattusa
- Guided tour in Amasya
- Guided tour in Trabzon
- All entrance fees mentioned in the itinerary
- Transportation in a fully air-conditioned, non-smoking coach
- Professional English-speaking tour guides
- Personal expenses
- Drinks at meals
- Tips and portrage at hotels
- Tips to the driver and the guide